Victims’ Dehumanization and the Alteration of Other-Oriented Empathy within the Immersive Video Milgram Obedience Experiment


Using the Immersive Video Milgram Obedience Experiment (IVMOE; Dambrun & Vatiné, 2010), we studied victims’ dehumanization and its underlying processes. Under the supervision of the national service of security, participants were ordered to psychologically weaken a person suspected of preparing an attack. We manipulated the ethnicity of the victim and his terrorist membership. The doubly stigmatized victim (i.e. a North African victim member of al Qaeda) was tortured more severely than the other victims. We found some evidence that this effect was mediated by a decrease in term of other-oriented empathy, but not by personal distress. These results suggest that an empathy alteration process underlies dehumanization in crimes of obedience perpetrated against members of extreme out-groups.

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Dambrun, M. , Lepage, J. & Fayolle, S. (2014). Victims’ Dehumanization and the Alteration of Other-Oriented Empathy within the Immersive Video Milgram Obedience Experiment. Psychology, 5, 1941-1953. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.517197.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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